So you’re just about ready to welcome a new four-legged friend into your loving home? That’s awesome! Whether this is your first rodeo as a dog parent or not, one thing is sure: having an adorable and loyal dog at home is never a wrong idea.

If you’re looking to shelter a dog of a popular breed, it’s helpful to equip yourself with adequate pet care knowledge. Unfortunately, popular breeds often carry genetic and hereditary health issues. Let us guide you with our compilation of popular dog breeds and their most common health problems


These friendly and active dogs are particularly prone to obesity which is linked to a myriad of other health concerns. If possible, avoid feeding your Lab fatty foods and get them on a vet-approved diet plan. 

Keep in mind that Labradors require an active lifestyle, so schedule daily exercises, long walks, and playdates. However, don’t overdo it as Labradors are also prone to exercise-induced collapse (EIC).

German Shepherd 

This large breed, like any other friendly four-legged giants, is prone to hip dysplasia — a condition where the joint’s ball and socket do not correctly align, thereby causing arthritis and movement pains. This disorder is often passed down from the parents, so be sure to ask your breeder about the pup’s ascendants’ health conditions. 


With their squishy faces and bulging eyes, Pugs are adorable to the core. However, this breed is prone to serious eye problems such as corneal ulcers, cataracts, dry eyes, and even ocular proptosis (eyes popping out of the socket).

Their facial wrinkles require regular cleaning as their dark, moist folds are ideal for bacterial build-up. Also, expect habitual snoring, especially during warm or humid weather, as their flat noses make them susceptible to seasonal breathing difficulties. 

Popular dog breed Pug looking up.
Pugs are among the popular dog breeds with common health problems.


Tracheal collapse is a common problem in small breeds like Chihuahuas. Canine tracheal collapse is a dog disease that affects the windpipe, causing mild to severe airflow obstruction. Common symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, and excitement-induced snorting. 


If you’re planning to get a Boxer, be prepared to regularly inspect them for suspicious lumps as this athletic dog breed is highly susceptible to cancers such as lymphoma and cell tumors. These cancer variations are often treatable, but early detection is a must.

Basset Hound

Basset hounds with their sad eyes and huge floppy ears can easily capture any pet lover’s heart; sadly, these adorable creatures are plagued with an array of genetic disorders.

Their saggy facial skin makes them easily susceptible to eye infections and vision problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Their droopy ears often fall victim to bacterial build-up, causing infections when not regularly cleaned.

Of course, these diseases can be avoided through responsible breeding, so be sure to screen your local breeder carefully. 

Irish Setter 

A number of purebred Irish Setters have epilepsy, so if you decide to own this breed, be sure to get the proper medication early on. Also, watch out for other genetic diseases such as hip dysplasia, bloat, bone cancer, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), or eyesight degradation. 

Popular dog breed Irish Setter outside in the woods.
When getting an Irish Setter be sure to check the breed for common health problems.

Takeaway on popular breeds’ common health problems

It’s not always easy to determine if you’re bringing home a healthy purebred pup. Sometimes, symptoms do not arise until much later. Nevertheless, you can observe these reasonable measures to minimize the risk:

  1. Get your dog from an accredited and reputable dog breeder;
  2. Rigorously screen your pup’s family line for breeding-related health problems to rule out unwanted qualities in the gene pool;
  3. Only purchase dogs with proper documentation;
  4. If you’re adopting from a dog shelter, bring them immediately to your trusted vet and get necessary vaccinations and medications in order;
  5. Get pet insurance to prepare for any hereditary issues that may arise later.

Finding a perfect dog breed that can keep up with your lifestyle and tick all your boxes is the easy part. Preparing yourself to give your furry companion a long, happy, healthy life is the real challenge. 

The first step to being a responsible dog owner is to do your homework.

Remember that the sooner to familiarize yourself with possible health issues that may appear along the way, the sooner you can get your furry pal the proper care and treatment they need.